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Fischer Funeral Home celebrates 75th anniversary

| November 21, 2012

WARSAW – The oldest-continuous family-owned business in Warsaw is celebrating 75 years of services. Fischer Funeral Home opened for business on Feb. 12, 1937 by Franklin J. Fischer, grandfather of Gary Fischer who, along with Nick Fischer, are third generation minority owners in the business. Patricia Fischer-Lewis is the majority owner of the funeral home.

Franklin Fischer started working in the funeral home business in November 1929 when he worked for E.R. Urey. One of Franklin’s first jobs was to take care of Mr. Urey’s horses. Two horses were used to draw each hearse. Only grey horses were used to draw deceased women and children hearses while the black horses were used only for deceased men. At this time, all the preparation of the body and for the services was done in the deceased person’s home and most of the viewings were in the home as well.

When Franklin purchased the funeral business from Urey in 1937, it was located in a large white building on the southeast corner of Main and Bridge Street in Warsaw. On Aug. 22, 1939, Franklin and a crew of 23 men began dismantling a building in Monroe Township and moved the entire building piece by piece to Warsaw. This building is the current location of Fischer Funeral Home.

Like a giant jigsaw puzzle, the house was dismantled and each piece was labeled in chalk, indicating where its place was in the house. In December 1939, Franklin and his family moved into the new house and later, in August 1940, moved their funeral business to their home.

Lynn Fischer, one of Franklin’s three children, purchased the business from his father in 1979. In that same year, Lynn’s two sons, Gary and Nick who were now licensed funeral directors, opened a second location in Danville.

According to Gary, throughout the years working in the funeral business, the major change he has seen in funeral services is the use of technology and personalization. They now have the capability to make family videos, digitally record the funeral service, and personalize the music, memorial cards, and obituaries.

“When we first started making memorial cards, we had a printing press in the basement,” said Gary. “My brother and I, our first job was to make memorial cards. Those were made one at a time on the printing press. We would set that one letter at a time and make one memorial card at a time. It was very time consuming.”

Now, everything is computerized and much easier for the funeral directors and staff.

“We would have to call in obituaries by phone to the papers,” he said. “We would repeat every word and spell out every word, and hope that we got it right and the person on the other end got it right…..Technology has made personalization a lot better for the families we serve and it makes it a lot easier for the funeral staff.”

To commemorate their 75th anniversary, Fischer Funeral Home decided to keep with tradition and make yard sticks with their information to give to residents. This is the same way Urey and others in business back then commemorated special events as well.

“We’ve always had a motto that we followed,” said Gary. “My grandfather and father started it: Serving others as we would serve ourselves. We need to thank the community for their support. Without the community support, we wouldn’t be able to celebrate 75 years of services. I feel honored to be the third generation and I appreciate the sacrifices my grandfather and father made.”

Gary’s sons, Jesse and Corey, are now the fourth generation of licensed funeral directors at Fischer Funeral Home. They currently have four licensed funeral directors and embalmers with over 80 years of combined experience.

“We have a good relationship with other funeral homes in the area,” said Gary. “We’re proud of the fact that we’ve been able to continue through four generations.”

For more information on Fischer Funeral Home, see their website at fischerfuneralhome.com or call them at 824-3515.

 

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About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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